I love Sarah Palin. That’s not necessarily because of anything she believes or advocates, but because of the pleasure I derive from watching the apoplexy she causes in liberals, especially in a university setting. Not only is Palin a strong conservative, but she has a regular middle-class background and a passionate religious commitment. This combination calls forth an unabashed blend of class contempt and anti-Christian bigotry.
Witnessing such reactions in recent months makes me ask just why such opinions are so near monolithic in the context of a university campus. Of course, college faculty are overwhelmingly liberal, at least in the humanities and social sciences. Everyone knows that. Apart from a college town, are there many other settings where one person at a social gathering will make a fervent call for higher taxes across the board, and everyone else will approve heartily?
But just why is that liberalism so self-evident? Faculty liberals themselves have no trouble explaining the matter, although normally they would be chary about stating their opinion too openly. In their view, their academic qualifications prove that they are smarter and more educated than other people, so of course they understand the world better. They think critically and without prejudice. Intelligent people favor intelligent policies, which are liberal.
Recent months have produced a number...